When the iPhone launched, “pundits” said that it would fail thanks to the lack of a physical keyboard. Then the iPad debuted to the same knee-jerk whine. Years passed, and tens of millions of units were sold, yet there are still people who think they want a keyboard to take up half the face of their device, all the time. For you, my dear Luddite friends, there is the TK-MBD041, a tiny Bluetooth keyboard that will mimic your precious (and tiny) BlackBerry buttons, and packs a special secret function (spoiler – it works as a phone handset).
Yes, the TK-MBD041 (a name that will sure reflect its future popularity, and maybe its sales figures ) will not only let you tap out terse emails on little pill-shaped keys as the twin Canadian deities Balsillie and Lazaridis intended, it can also be held up to your ear and used as a Bluetooth telephony headset.
Now, this last isn’t quite as (ball)silly as it seems. If you have an Android tablet equipped with cellphone functionality, this could save you from an extra cellphone plan, and if you use an iPad you can save the embarrassment of making Skype calls in public.
The TK-MBD041 even vibrates on incoming calls, has its own rechargeable li-ion battery and an LED display for caller-ID. Think of it as an old-school, semi-dumb phone extension for your iPad.
And there we are. In the space of just 250 words, I have gone from snickering sceptic to potential customer. I still don’t care to have a physical keyboard, not of this size at least. But I can totally see the appeal of a handset if you make a lot of phone calls, and hate your phone (as I do).
The TK-MBD041 will work with pretty much any iDevice back to the iPhone 3GS, comes in three colors (white, black, almost-Bondi blue) and costs a ridiculous $230.
[Via The Giz]